In one of several recent – and bizarre – scientific discoveries, scientists now believe penguins ‘could be aliens’.
UK researchers subsequently believe that studying penguins could help them identify other living beings existing in other worlds.
The strange revelation came after traces of a chemical known as phosphine were found in the bird’s poo.
Experts have been left baffled due to not knowing how phosphine exists on Earth, as the chemical is located a whole 38 million miles away in Venus.
In order to find out how the penguin’s poo contained traces of the chemical, scientists are now planning to study the lifestyle of gentoo penguins, according to The Daily Star. The gentoo penguin is most common in the Falkland Islands.
Dr Dave Clements of Imperial College, London, told the Daily Star how scientists are ‘convinced’ that the finding of phosphine is ‘real’. However, he admitted they don’t know ‘what’s making it’.
There are some anaerobic bacteria that produce phosphine. It’s found in pond slime and the guts of badgers and penguin guano.
It may be to do with defence or signaling against competing bacteria.
Last year, the gas which encompasses Venus was also found to have had traces of the chemical within – a surrounding of which is a similar atmosphere to Earth.
In other recent discoveries, scientists realised that when transporting rhinos, it is actually safer to move them when they’re upside-down. The revelation received an Ig Nobel prize, alongside another finding that beards could be an ‘evolutionary development to help protect men’s faces from punches’, according to The Week.
Scientists who analysed the ways in which cats communicate with humans also received an award.
The prize-giving took place at the 31st annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony and were awarded by Annals of Improbable Research.
According to scientists, while parrots, hummingbirds and songbirds used to be considered the only birds able to mimic human speech, an impersonating duck has just been heard speaking out for the first time.
According to The Week, other mammals such as dolphins, bats, elephants, seals and whales know how to emulate human sounds too, however, a duck in Australia, known as Ripper, has stolen the limelight due to his first human-sounding words.
Ducks speaking, penguins as aliens… What’s next? Flying pigs?